About Dirty Hippo
Only those who dare truly knows …that ultimate experience of sheer excitement and pain all bundled up into one intense moment.
The thrill of flying through a technical section, pushing hard down a gnarly downhill or negotiating a rocky, endless climb.
That feeling of achievement when you race against yourself, face your own inner demons and accomplish that what you knew was pushing your limits …in full glory of the great outdoors.
That inner drive that kicks you out of bed on a cold and rainy morning to get up and get dirty.
That feeling of putting your head down, driving the pedals and pushing on when the going gets tough.
That feeling of freedom that makes you come alive.
Mountain biking offers something to everyone. Every rider knows what it feels like to keep on pushing to get to that finish line. Whether you have just done your first fun race or a gruelling multi-day stage race, we all share war stories around the same table.
When I broke my hip at the end of 2012 in a cycling accident, it was these experiences which afforded me a sense of hope and purpose to drive through it. Although the pain and discomfort was something I knew would eventually pass, it was frustrating not to be able to mentally override the situation. The x-rays showed the hip was broken, clean off, and that was that. I was forced to submit to a couch.
It took six months of no training, gradually getting off crutches to finally and slowly getting back into an exercise program. On completing the Sabie Experience multi-day stage race exactly one year after the fateful crash, I realised what an immense privilege it was to be in the saddle again. The body healed, the heart got stronger and the mind got wiser.
Dirty Hippo was born on that couch during my recovery time. It is the symbol of digging deep and taking one moment at a time to overcome adversity despite the body’s limitations. A reminder to celebrate and enjoy each moment life has to offer. In the end, it is what you make of it.
Dirty Hippo is about sharing the joy of achievement and passion with family, friends and a lot of total strangers. Telling stories of overcoming and becoming alive in the great outdoors. Sharing the good “clean” fun of any adventure endurance sport. About developing healthy habits, overcoming obstacles, finishing what you have started and celebrating victories in any shape and form.
It is not just about the sport, it’s also about the mental mojo that puts fuel in your tank when you have a mountain to conquer. It’s about celebrating and appreciating life. About second chances, learning life’s lessons and having faith that no matter what you are facing, in the end, it can only make you stronger.
All Dirty Hippo designs are big, bold and strong because in our sport, as in life, that is what we are. If you are facing a mountain, either physical or proverbial, always remember, “It is just a hill”.